Five Favorite Dividend Stocks of Billionaire Mario Gabelli

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As a renowned value investor, billionaire Mario Gabelli often invests in stocks that have a lot of intrinsic value and profits from value-maximizing developments that lie ahead such as mergers or spin-offs. In the current round of 13F filings, Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors revealed an equity portfolio worth $15.22 billion and in a previous article we have discussed his top five holdings (see article). However, aside from picking undervalued companies, Gabelli also has many dividend stocks among his favorite picks. For this article, we have identified five stocks that sport a dividend yield above 3% and that rank among the top holdings in GAMCO’s latest 13F filing.

Mario Gabelli with cereal box

We follow GAMCO Investors together with over 700 other large money managers in order to benefit from their skills and expertise in identifying some of the most profitable opportunities among publicly-traded companies. Through extensive research, we determined that by following the funds we track into their 15 most popular small-cap stocks among the funds we track, one can beat the market by nearly one percentage point per month on average. Our small-cap strategy has returned 102% since August 2012, beating the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 53 percentage points (see more details here).

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Let’s get back to GAMCO’s top dividend picks, though. On the first spot is Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc (NYSE:RHP), in which the fund holds 4.78 million shares as of the end of September, down by 5% on the quarter, worth $235.14 million, which makes the holding GAMCO’s third-largest in terms of value. As a real estate investment trust, it’s not surprising that Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc (NYSE:RHP)’s stock sports a dividend yield of 5.32%. The stock is almost flat in year-to-date terms, but the REIT has increased its dividend to $0.70 for the third quarter from $0.65 for the first two, and  from $0.55 paid for the fourth quarter of 2014. Its current dividend yield is one of the highest among hotel-focused REITs. Bernard Selz’s Selz Capital also disclosed ownership of 257,400 shares of Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc (NYSE:RHP) as of the end of September.

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National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)‘s stock has lost over 24% since the beginning of the year, as weak oil and gas prices weighted on the whole E&P Industry. However, the company still pays a dividend of around $0.39, which gives its stock a yield of around 3.01%. GAMCO owns 3.45 million shares of National Fuel Gas as of September 30, down by 8% on the quarter. The stake was valued at $172.56 million at the end of September, but analysts are mostly bullish on National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) and have a consensus price target of $76.50, which indicates an upside of 46%. Therefore, it seems that National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) is worth sticking to until the energy prices rebound and benefit from dividend payments meanwhile. Eric Mandelblatt of Soroban Capital Partners may be sharing the same opinion as Soroban disclosed a new stake of 4.20 million shares in its 13F for the second quarter.

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